Way back when in 2016, the majority of Florida voters (more than 70 percent) said yes to a constitutional amendment that would make medical marijuana legal. But when then-Gov. Rick Scott — he of brutal dictatorial regime-supporting fame — signed it into law in 2017, he curbed the forms of cannabis that would be available: Concentrates such capsules, topicals, tinctures and vapes were fine, as were flower sealed into pods for vaping, but according to the law, smokable pot would not be available in the state.
More than two years later, Floridians have gotten their way: Gov. Ron DeSantis has just signed legislation overturning his predecessor’s ban, thereby legalizing smoking medical marijuana in the state.
The bill, which was co-sponsored by Republican State Sen. Jeff Brandes and Democrat Linda Stewart, allows patients over the age of 18 to have 2.5 ounces of marijuana flower every 35 days; patients under the age of 18 can also have access to smokable medical marijuana provided they have been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have a second opinion from a pediatrician. The bill also requires patients to sign an informed consent form acknowledging the health risks of smoking marijuana.
Between 2017 and 2019, medical marijuana advocacy groups argued that concentrates may not work for all patients. DeSantis’s legislation ensures that it will now be legal for physicians to prescribe smokable marijuana to patients when they deem it necessary.
“I thank my colleagues in the legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld,” DeSantis said in a statement, a reference to how many Floridians had voted in support of medical marijuana back in 2016. “Now that we have honored our duty to find a legislative solution, I have honored my commitment and filed a joint motion to dismiss the state’s appeal and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional.”